Loon, Arctic Loon
Russian: Чернозобая гагара
Mongolian: Хилэнгүеэт гахууна, Хилэномруут ахууна
Japanese: オオハム (O-hamu)
Body length: 63-75cm
Wing span: 100-122 cm
Red-throated, breeds on clear, fish-holding freshwater lakes (or sea-bays without
tide), builds nest on small islet near waterline. Often gregarious in
Identification: Appears somewhat
larger than Mallard, though shape slimmer. (A few large individuals same size
as smallest Great Northern.) Dagger-shaped bill with slightly curved culmen,
slimmer than Great Northern’s; carried horizontally. (or nearby; Red-throated’s
more clearly upwards) Forehead often steep, hindcrown smoothly rounded. Thick
neck (same-thickness head and neck), and has prominent chest at waterline (Red-throated
more flat-chested). In flight, compared with Red-throated, neck slightly
thicker and carried straighter (less sagging), as is bill; feet always large
and obvious, projecting prominently, making wings set close to centre; slightly
slower and shallower wingbeats on average than Red-throated in comparable winds
(but dependent on individual size; small birds more like Red-throated, large
more like Great Northern).
- Adult summer:
Velvety pale grey crown and hindneck, black foreneck and throat, and a pattern
of distinct white patches of upperbody.
- Adult winter:
In profile, at least half of neck dark, visible in flight too, and border
between grey hindneck and white foreneck usually highlighted by swarthy line. Generally
no white around eye (but beware juv. Red-throated, with can show reduced
white). Swimming bird often shows distinctive, isolated white patch on rearmost
flanks. Upperparts plane dark grey. Bill (pale) grey with blackish tip.
(often retained to midwinter, partly to first spring); As adult winter, except
pale feather fringes on upperparts form neat, fine scaly pattern ; upperparts
slightly paler and browner; tip of bill less blackish.
summer: Summer plumage only partial.